Where to Watch & Read 86-Eighty-Six

Although its name might be somewhat confusing, 86-Eighty-Six has become a very popular anime series. Combining a tale of prejudice with military fiction and mecha fights, 86-Eighty-Six is easily one of the most well-received giant robot franchises in years. The first part of the anime began its run earlier this year; however, the source material started a few years ago.

Telling a war story full of twists and turns, 86-Eighty-Six has succeeded in several mediums, all of which can be accessed by Western fans. This includes the original light novel series that started it all and the anime that's pushed the mecha franchise into stardom. Here's a closer look at what the surprise hit is all about and where those interested in it can check it out.

The Plot of 86-Eighty-Six

The storyline of 86 involves the war between the Republic of San Magnolia and the Empire of Giad, both of whom wage battle via advanced technology. However, whereas Giad boasts an army of autonomous mechs, San Magnolia has their own mech-weapons titled Juggernauts that are piloted by humans called 86.

The 86 were once treated equally, but they're now oppressed and seen as disposable by the dominant Alba race. Opposing this treatment is Major Lena Milizé, an Alba woman who is assigned to handle a team of 86. As they work together to end the war against the Empire of Giad, Lena and her team discover the truth behind the war, which is much less black and white than it first appears.

Where to Read the 86-Eighty-Six Manga/Light Novels

The series was created by Asato Asato and Shirabii as a light novel in 2017, with Yen Press currently handling the English localization. These novels are still ongoing, with 10 volumes being written so far. Eight of these have been released in America, with the ninth planned for a February 2022 release. A manga adaptation began in 2018, which so far has been collected into three volumes. Two of these have been localized so far, but none of the three spinoffs, including a high school-based one, have been officially released outside Japan.

These books can also be purchased physically through the typical retailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million and Right Stuf Anime. Comixology also offers digital versions of the manga, although they currently only have the first two volumes available.

Where to Watch the 86-Eighty-Six Anime

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A-1 Pictures handles the anime adaptation of 86-Eighty-Six, which was first announced in March 2020. The series finally aired its first part in April 2021, running until June. The second half, which is now considered to be a second full season, began on October 3rd. Its popularity and reception is why the franchise as a whole has quickly become so popular, and this is likely due to the ease of watching the series.

86-Eighty-Six is simulcast and simuldubbed by Crunchyroll outside of Japan, making it convenient to watch for anime fans who use the streaming service. However, it's also only available on Crunchyroll and VRV, so those without accounts for these services are so far unable to watch it any other way. There have been DVD collections for the first part of the show in Japan, but none of these have been localized so far. For the time being, the series will likely be available solely via Crunchyroll. This is compounded further with the delays that are affecting the show's production.

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